Dion Lee is coming to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia! Well his diffusion Line II anyway, which has just been added to the 2014 schedule along with Christopher Esber.
Esber will take the formerly empty 6 p.m. time slot on the Tuesday. Lee’s tailoring-focused Line II will show at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, moving Cameo to Tuesday also.
The two most recent additions lend a little more star power to the schedule, which is heavier on emerging labels than it has been in recent years. Sass & Bide, Zimmermann and Dion Lee’s main line are all now showing in New York, and though we’ll miss seeing them in Sydney, it does bring more focus to new talents like Desert Designs, Leroy Nguyen and Hayley Elssaesser.
Esber has also had his sights set on New York in the past, holding a joint show with fellow Aussie Kym Ellery there in September 2012 (Ellery now shows in Paris as well as at MBFWA). Since then, he’s been causing the biggest buzz in Milan, where he was flown as a finalist for the 2014 Woolmark Prize. Esber took out the Australian leg of the competition in July last year, and while he lost out on the International final to Rahul Mishra in February, his collection held the attention of industry heavyweights including Tim Blanks, Franca Sozzani, Frida Gianni and Alexa Chung.
Esber was also a frontrunner for the Australian Woolmark Prize in 2012, when he was beaten out by none other than Dion Lee himself. Presumably the two have put any rivalry behind them as both their brands continue to explode.
You can see part of Esber's Spring 2014 collection on Abbey Lee Kershaw in the April issue of Vogue Australia.